For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Here's the nitty-gritty of what The PURSE-onality Challenge looks and sounds like for me.
Scenario: My husband walks into the kitchen while I’m working on a blog post. I can’t get the font sizing to work right, so I start griping out loud, “What on earth are are you doing?”
Daniel, ever the gentleman, asks me, “What are you trying to do?” to which I feel the urge to snap, “Nothing! I wasn’t talking to you!” (While thinking None of your business! I don’t need your help! Quit trying to solve my problems!)
Step 1: Since the Holy Spirit has recently pointed out that I start complaining aloud within 10 seconds of Daniel entering the kitchen, I own my problem by switching my bracelet from one wrist to the other.
I surrender my font frustration to God: Lord, I'm frustrated and feel like taking it out on Daniel. Take this from me. I don't want it in my heart or coming out my mouth.
And I say nothing aloud to Daniel.
Step 2: I pull out my PURSE-onality “gift card” (yes, even though I've been learning and teaching this for 30 years, when I'm upset, I need my cue card!) and spotlight a strength Daniel brings to my life: analysis.
Step 3: I open scripture, pull out a Bible verse card, or recall from memory,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4),
intentionally replacing my “baditude” with God’s word.
Step 4: I choose thoughts of gratitude for a husband who loves to analyze and solve problems.
I grab my journal and write a few lines:
- Today I’m praying...that Daniel feel my appreciation of his analytical abilities.
- Today I’m watching for...an opportunity to thank Daniel for the ways he blesses me with his gift of analysis.
- Today I’m appreciating...all the times Daniel has analyzed my computer and brought it back from the grave!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Q: So, Cheri, do you step through these perfectly every time?
A: Oh, puh-leaze.
Q: Do you feel super spiritual as you move into Step 1? (or at least by Step 4?)
A: Mmmm, not so much.
Q: Then what does happen for you as you go through these steps over and over again?
A: Over time, I’ve noticed that
- I’m becoming more open to the Holy Spirit’s leading as he shows me ways in which I am “waging war as the world does” (my habits of complaining, criticism, gossip, and sarcasm!)
- I’m becoming more intentional about seeking “divine power to demolish strongholds” (reaching for God’s word)
- I’m sensing myself growing and seeing my relationships improving as I “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (stopping “baditude” and, instead, thinking gratitude)